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Dave Stephens

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Everything posted by Dave Stephens

  1. I actually looked up how much 50lbs of silicon bronze would cost. It's less than I thought. Bronze would look really cool, especially with a patina on it. The wear marks would make it even better. Have just looked up weights. Bronze seems to be heavier than cast iron per cubic inch (.307 for bronze vs. .260 for cast iron), so the size would probably have to be reduced a bit, or a bit of a hollow left in the base. I think I could build a custom flask large enough to fit in my burn out kiln and use satin cast. Definitely can't use vacuum casting, so it would just be a gr
  2. Hmm. Interesting idea. Thanks, Charles. James: Nope. I don't have either of those things. I'd need to build the furnace, but it doesn't look any more complicated than a forge build (or am I missing something?)
  3. Really like the texture on the grip which enhances the lines. Always great to see a piece of yours, Richard!
  4. Fellow followers of the fire: I exercise with kettlebells, the weights that look like cannon balls with handles. A long time ago a company called ONNIT offered a very small number of Star Wars themed kettlebells. They sold out almost immediately, and there is no indication that they will ever offer them again. Call it a mania brought on by COVID lockdown, I want the Boba Fet kettlebell sufficiently to have started wondering if I could cast one myself? I know nothing about casting iron. Can someone with bladesmith-level tools/forges/etc. reasonably expect to
  5. Ah, that's cool man. I follow a couple of sailboat cruisers on YouTube that have lived aboard a sailboat about this size and totally rebuilt it. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKzcVZX2xM_kiOFWuGg-Phw I wish I knew more about sailboats. I grew up in the commercial fishery in Alaska, so all my experience is in trawler-type diesel powerboats. I have chartered sailboats several times in the Virgin Islands, but I'm a fair weather sailor at best. Any serious passage, put me in a trawler.
  6. Thanks Josh. If you had been here, I would have happily accepted the help! So many hours on the random orbit sander. I wish I had counted how many discs I went through. LOL.
  7. I've had three boats with bow thrusters and I refuse to use them from sheer hard-headed stubborness. They are nice when it's calm: no wind, no current. If it's blowing, however, you have to know how to maneuver your boat on basic principles. Do you know the book/movie, "A River Runs Through It?" There is a line in there that I love. (Paraphrase) "In my father's opinion, no one who did not know how to catch a trout properly should ever be allowed to dishonor the fish by actually catching it." I've got sort of the same attitude with boats. Grins. Dav
  8. Thanks, Brian. It's an all fiberglass hull. The grooves on the outside are just decorative. I don't follow Leo. I will check it out. Thanks. Steve: Where is your boat? Do you mean you'll be sailing her to Hawaii?
  9. Thanks, Clifford. Was your grandfather's boat in Oregon? Any photos? I have to admit I know nothing about Marlin harpoon boats. I'd love to learn more. Thanks. Dave
  10. Thanks Chris, Believe it or not, the woman in the photo is my mother, who looks younger than I do. Also, my daughter and her boyfriend have helped a lot. My wife (the Admiral) is in Florida, where I spend the Winters. She only gives me two weeks a year at our house in Alaska during the peak of Summer, now. She doesn't do cold weather! lol
  11. Hi guys, Hope you don't mind if I share a big non-blade project I've been doing this Summer. Last Fall I purchased a very abused boat, a Nordic Tug 26. This is a really neat, classic power boat with whimsical lines. Whoever owned her before me was the equivalent of a violently abusive husband. She was so, incredibly beat up. Anyway, I've spent the Summer gutting the interior, painting the interior hull in preparation for a new engine installation, and spending hundreds of hours fiberglassing, sanding, scraping, caulking, painting, and varnishing the exterior. All teak h
  12. Well done, Caleb! Any multi-bar that you forge entirely by hand is an accomplishment. I agree with Oberu, tighter twists next time. Just remember, keep the steel HOT when you're twisting tight. Keep it near welding heat. Tight twists will enhance the look of the low layers. Keep at it! Dave
  13. If you want a shiny surface that still has the pattern visible, you can use Ferric. Just etch the heck out of it (I do 4-6 Fifteen minute cycles, rinsing between) then I neutralize w/ Windex, scrub with powder abrasive and water, and then buff it will very fine rouge. Shiny pattern. Add a coat of hardwood floor wax.
  14. You know, Alan, I never knew that Ferric wasn't an acid. Been using it for years. This is fascinating. Thanks.
  15. I have recently learned of this term from my 19 year old daughter, but it seems appropriate. This, sir, is a "flex." Translation: "A gratuitous display of competence in order to quiet any question of your abilities." Speaking in the vernacular of my generation: That's bad ass, dude. Grins, Dave
  16. Not sure when the next one might happen, but we'd be very pleased to have a legit metallurgist speaking at the next one Jerrod. Until that day.
  17. It looks as if it might be an early piece by Tai Goo? It's kind of got his style to it. Oh, and none of my pieces have marks either. Never got around to getting one.
  18. Welcome to the quest! I'd start with these two books, with two caveats on the Boye book. First, no need to use scrap steel as he suggests. Good steel is readily available and cheap. Check out https://newjerseysteelbaron.com/. Second, Boye recommends Aqua Regia (combination of Nitric and Hydrochloric) acid for etching knives. That stuff is alien blood dangerous. Buy Ferric Chloride instead. Easy to find on Amazon. Finally, this forum has been in operation for many years, and almost anything you want to know about bladesmithing is on here somewhere, the trouble is finding
  19. Thanks man. That's a great compliment. I've still got a lot to learn, like all of us.
  20. Bruno: The forum belongs to us all. Don Fogg created it, and he made it clear that he wanted it to continue in the spirit of joint ownership by the Bladesmithing community. Legally, I guess, I own it, because Don had to give over financial responsibility to someone. I don't feel that way, however. I've had several offers to purchase it from investors, given our very large traffic, and offers to advertise on it to make revenue, but I've turned them all down because that's not what this place is about. In the event of my death my estate will continue to pay
  21. Thanks again, Niels. Once again, Niels to the rescue. Wonderful timing on this one. . . with me halfway between Florida and Alaska in a camper and spotty Internet. Sorry for the problem guys.
  22. Hi guys. Day 5 on the road from FL to Alaska. 6 or 8 to go. . . Kennebec, South Dakota on my way through Montana. Hope you all are well. Dave
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